Winter Ebike Maintenance Guide

Winter Ebike Maintenance Guide

You use your electric bike for fun or as a serious mode of transport. Therefore if it broke due to lack of maintenance, it would be highly disappointing to be unable to ride it. With this in mind, you need to look after your electric bike.

Performing regular maintenance tasks on your electric bike will keep it in full working order and make it last longer while being more reliable. It is more important to look after your electric bike properly during winter as the winter conditions can be harsh on its components.

In this article, we will give you lots of winter electric bike maintenance tips to keep your pride and joy working perfectly.

Winter Electric Bike Maintenance Schedule

There are different levels of maintenance that you should perform on your electric bike at different times. Some maintenance tasks should be done before and after every ride; others can be left as monthly or weekly checks, but it depends on how often you ride. Let's break them down.

Weekly Checks

There are a few things that can happen when you ride your electric bike regularly throughout winter. Some things can come loose, or others can simply wear out, so keeping an eye on them will keep your bike running smoothly and your rides safe. Here's what you should do:

1.Clean your drivetrain

The drivetrain consists of chainrings, cassette, derailleur, and chain. Keeping these components clean prevents them from wearing out too quickly. You should also lubricate your electric bike's chain with wet lube to stop it from rusting and to keep it running smoothly.

2. Check your crankset

You constantly use your crankset when you ride, which means it can loosen with time. Therefore, you must check it is sufficiently tight, so it doesn't get damaged.

3. Check your brake pads

Due to the extra weight of an electric bike, it needs more stopping power than a regular one.

This means that brake pads can wear more quickly, so checking them is an essential safety precaution. It is a simple task, as all you need to do is check if they have enough braking material left. If they look too worn, it is time to change them so you have sufficient stopping power when you need it.

Monthly Checks

No matter if you are riding in the summer or winter, it is a good idea to take some time to inspect your electric bike more thoroughly. If you're unsure how to do these checks, you may want to take your electric bike to a bike shop to be safe.

1. Check your chain

The torque from the electric motor puts a lot of strain on your bike's chain. This can cause it to stretch and wear out over time. You can see if it has stretched with a chain stretch gauge, but you can determine if you need a new chain if it looks worn.

Riding with a worn chain will gradually wear out the other drivetrain components, causing you to make costly repairs.

2. Clean and lubricate your suspension components

Some electric bikes are fitted with suspension which needs looking after. This is especially the case during winter as they can be exposed to lots of grime and salt. When you regularly clean the suspension components, you will protect them from wear and corrosion. It is also a good idea to check the rubber seals, as you may need to replace them if they are damaged.

3. Make sure brake and gear cables run smoothly

When riding in the winter, it is imperative that your braking is accurate and reliable. You can do this by lubricating the cables by dripping oil inside the housing and letting it run through. This is also something you can do with your gear-shifting cables.

If any of these cables look worn or frayed, it is time to replace them, which is a simple job.

The only tricky part can be indexing years once you've changed the cable. But there are plenty of videos online that can show you how to do this.

4. Thoroughly clean your drivetrain

Your drivetrain components are susceptible to damage when covered in grime and salt. Therefore you need to clean the components with a degreaser and re-lubricate it.

What To Check Before Each Ride

There are a few simple checks you should do before you go for a ride on your electric bike. Spending just 5 to 10 minutes before you head out will give you peace of mind that your electric bike will work as it should and will be safe.

1. Check your tire pressures

When your electric bike has the proper tire pressures, it will run efficiently and handle as it should. If you are riding on slippery surfaces, such as ice and snow, you may want to reduce your tire pressures slightly. By dropping your tire pressures, two or three psi, you will have more traction, as more of the tire is in contact with the ground.

All you need is a tire pressure gauge and a pump to check your tire pressures.

2. Look at your brakes

There's no harm in checking the condition of your brake pads before a ride, as it will give you an idea of when they need changing. You should also make sure the calipers are tight and not wobbly. Then, before you head out on your ride, start slowly and apply the brakes to test them out.

3. Check the bolts

Before you head out on a ride, you may want to check all the bolts on your electric bike. The quickest way to do this is to do the M check. This consists of following an M-shaped pattern starting at the front wheel and finishing at the rear wheel, tightening all the bolts as you go.

As you do this, make sure you don't over-tighten the bolts, as this can cause severe problems; tighten them up just enough.

4. Check how much power your battery has

Before you leave home, make sure you have enough charge in your battery for your trip. You want to avoid being stuck out in the cold with a flat battery. So before you set off, switch on your bike and check the battery level on the LCD. If there's not enough charge, plug it in.

As you are riding in the winter, you need to be aware that your range may be compromised due to the cold weather negatively affecting your battery's efficiency.

What To Do After Each Ride

1. Clean the chain

If you have been riding in snowy or wet weather, it is a good idea to clean and lubricate your electric bike's chain after each ride. This is more important if you ride off-road and on muddy surfaces. The easiest way to do this is with a chain cleaner or use degreaser and wipe it with a clean cloth.

Make sure your electric bike is switched off so you don't trap your fingers in the chain.

2. Clean the frame

Even if you don't thoroughly wash your electric bike after a ride, it is a good idea to wipe the frame down with a cloth. Doing this will remove any salt or traffic film that has picked up during your ride, which will eventually corrode your frame if left.

3. Charge your battery

If you return to your bike in the morning and realize you haven't plugged it in, you will have a dreadful start to your day. Therefore you should charge your battery before you forget. However, don't plug it in immediately; allow the battery to cool down for 20 to 30 minutes before you plug in the charger. This will extend the battery's lifespan.

Storing your electric bike in the winter

It is essential that you don't let your electric bike battery get too cold. Leaving it outside or in a cold garage can dramatically reduce its lifespan. If you don't have any choice but to leave your electric bike out in the cold, it is a good idea to insulate it with a neoprene sleeve or anything that will prevent it from being damaged by low temperatures.

If you know you won't use your electric bike for a while, don't leave the battery as it is. Make sure you charge it to somewhere between 30 and 60%. This keeps the cells balanced and not under a lot of stress for long periods. This will go a long way to extend its lifespan.

Final thoughts

Looking after your electric bike during the winter is relatively easy. Some maintenance tasks are trickier than others, so if you feel you don't have the time, skills, or tools for the job, we recommend you take your electric bike to a good bike shop that can help you out.


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